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Overworked and lacking sleep? What are you stressed about? In our day-to-day routines, stress is inevitable. Your poor soul feels bruised and battered by the various catastrophes on the flip side of the globe or stressful situations in your personal backyard. Your blood boils on a regular basis because of a horrible work environment, strained relationships or even a wearisome commute to work. All these sources of stress exist beyond our control, but we can stop, slow down and de-stress. Here are 5 ways you can regulate your stress and keep your well-being in check.

1. Breathe

 

Don’t operate in your stressed state all the time, mind your breath whilst you can! You may roll your eyes as we tell you to take a deep breath but it takes a mere few seconds and it will allow your troubled mind to relax in under two minutes. Breathing is our second nature and it’s an all-natural chill pill, so no matter where you are or however difficult the situation at hand may be, pause for a moment and do a short breathing exercise. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, holding each breath for seven counts or seconds. Repeat the cycle three times to calm yourself down quick! You can thank us for this fuss-free solution later.

 2. Drink tea

And ah, our favourite method to decompress and reduce stress. Sip your way to leisure and soothe stress-related ailments with some tea, a traditional relaxation technique used to combat stress for centuries. We love a regular cup of white tea (for additional protection against oxidative stress) or a gentle herbal infusion that you can find at Nilufer Tea. In times of crisis, there is nothing else but to keep calm and drink tea. Bonus points if you pick up organic teas from sustainable sources.

 3. Get active

 

Allow your tensed brain to reset and recover with exercise as it reduces stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphin, a feel-good hormone that can help foster relaxation. Take a moment to walk through a green space with an abundance of fresh air, swim or attend a yoga class. A short stroll may do wonders to your mind too!

4. Limit your time online

 

Akin to processed carbs and refined sugars, the vast world of social media will elicit cravings and provide an initial boost of pleasure. Each new notification triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which drives us to seek rewards, so you’d keep coming back for more. But, it’s a vicious cycle that takes a toll on your mental health in the long run and makes you feel blah afterwards. We’d recommend you unplug and unwind. Try a social media detox for a month or at least shorten your time online. Not every single email, Facebook message or flat-lay of your avocado toast matters.

5. Use aromatherapy

 

Aromatherapy is an alternative practice which taps into the healing power of scents through essential oils extracted from plants. It is an excellent method for stress-relief as scents are powerful and can impact our bodies through our nervous system. Dilute a few drops of bergamot, lavender or ylang ylang oil with water and let it diffuse into the air. Otherwise, add a drop or two of your favourite essential oil into a carrier oil and rub onto your acupressure points for comfort. Be careful not to rub the essential oil directly on your skin as it is potent and may cause slight burning of your skin.

We hope at least one of our five stress-busters will lead you to a happier, healthier and stress-free life. Remember, weekends are for recovery and relaxation! And nothing beats personal well-being.

Written by Valerie Tan

The natural goodness of herbs is a widely accepted – not only are their flavours used in food and drink but they are also used to relax the body and can be used to treat common ailments.  Many of us herb enthusiasts have dreams of planting our own herbs in soil and harvesting these plants that we helped nurture while they nurture us with their nutrients. However, if the idea of growing plants gives you flashbacks to the shrivelled up plants that you have tried and failed to grow, you are not alone. We’ve compiled a few tips which will help you achieve your herb garden dreams.

The thing about many herbs is that their natural climate to grow in might be different from Singapore’s tropical one. For this reason, you either have to pick plants that adapt well to our climate or replicate the conditions of their natural habitats. Mint is a plant with a high adaptability and is therefore an easier plant to start with. Furthermore, it has a range of health benefits!

1. Pick the Best Mint For You

There are a great number of mint varieties for you to choose from. From the popular spearmint and peppermint, to the lesser known horsemint, there is something to suit every taste and fancy. There are slight variations with use so pick a plant that suits how you use them. For instance, many people use spearmint for garnishing savoury dishes and use peppermint for sweet ones. The tastes of each variety are different as well so be sure to pick a mint that you like best.

2. Pick the Best Soil

Image cred: Aquaponics Wiki

The soil required for mint plants is a loamy type. This means that it should have different sized soil particles in order for air and water to penetrate. Soil available here is often clayey and retains too much moisture so mix it with lightweight expanded clay aggregate pellets (LECA) so that it is better for your mint plant to flourish.

3. Sunlight

Image cred: Tim Easley on Unsplash

The great advantage Singapore has is that it has sun all year round. For most types of mint, getting enough sunlight is a must. If you grow your plant indoors make sure you place your potted plant close to a window or at a location where it can get as much sunlight as it can get.

4.Water

 

Most mints grow naturally along the bank of streams and other water sources. This means that growing mint requires more care than simply sticking a cutting to the ground. You should monitor that the plant gets enough water daily. One way to check this is to put your finger in the soil to check its moisture. The soil should feel moist to the touch.

5. Pruning

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One thing that remains constant across all mint varieties is their ability to invade spaces completely. These plants are very hardy and they produce runners which can cause them to over-run and get out of control. One way to prevent is by planting them in separate pots. Another is through pruning. Pruning is an excellent way to keep plants producing new leaves and to prevent them from over-growing.

Armed with this knowledge, you are now prepared to embark upon the complicated journey of gardening. Though it requires some extra time and effort, the pleasure of being able to harvest fresh herbs for yourself makes all the work worthwhile. With a little practice, you may be able to grow an entire potted garden for your herb needs.

Mint is also a great addition to your teas. If you would like a minty tea, Nilufer Tea offers Orange & Chamomile herbal tea which has notes of mint for your drinking pleasure. Shop here now!

While the sugary goodness of a doughnut seems to be the obvious choice for a quick breakfast or snack, the harms of a doughnut far outweigh the momentary sweet thrill that your brain craves. On the other hand, while herbal tea may not be everyone's number one choice, it will leave you feeling energetic, refreshed and optimised to do your best. Not only are herbal teas the healthier option, they come in a wide variety of flavours such that you would surely be able to find something that you like. Still thinking of herbal teas as weird concoctions of strange brown liquid that you might get from a TCM practitioner? Read on to open your mind to the natural sweetness of teas, especially floral ones, and the benefits they provide as opposed to the sweet deception of doughnuts.

 

1. Herbal Tea Increases Productivity

Image cred: Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash

Teas such as lemon tea help to detoxify your blood helping to stave off fatigue and lethargy. If your tiredness is due to poor sleep, teas with ingredients such as chamomile, valerian or lavender help to relax, leading to a better night of rest and better productivity in the morning. The sugar in doughnuts gives you energy in the form of empty calories. Empty calories are calories that do not provide you with any kind of nutrition – they are just plain energy. While this sounds amazing at about 3pm when you are trying to continue working or studying through your lethargy, it really does not benefit you much. The sugar found in doughnuts will give you a quick pick-me-up but it also leads to an inevitable sugar crash a few hours later. Herbal teas on the other hand do not work as quickly as sugar does but they target your body’s deficiencies and impact your overall health.

 

2. Herbal Tea Helps Stave off Sugar Addiction

Image cred: pixabay

The truth is you won't stop at one doughnut, would you? Once you have had one, you definitely get the urge to polish off the others in the box.  Poor self-control aside, there are scientific reasons for this craving. Consuming sugar releases the same chemical – dopamine – in the brain as taking drugs.  Since your brain feels rewarded by the sugar, it is no surprise that you begin to crave more and more of it. With increased sugar intake comes a whole host of problems such obesity and insulin resistance. Replace sugary food with a flavourful cup of tea and not only will you be reaping a whole slew of benefits, your craving for sugar will drastically decrease. With teas, there is no danger of addiction especially if you are careful to choose teas made of organic ingredients and with no added caffeine or sugar.

 

3. Herbal Tea Decreases The Risk of Heart Disease

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It has long been thought that saturated fat is the leading factor of clogged blood vessels but recent studies show that there is also a strong association between heart disease and added sugar consumption. The Havard Health Blog discusses a 15 year study on the effects of sugar on health and reports people who took more than 25% of their daily intake of calories as sugar are twice as likely to die from heart disease. While having a doughnut once in a while won’t kill you immediately, it is important to take note of your daily sugar consumption in order to stay in the pink of cardiovascular health. Teas such as green and white tea help to reduce the risks of such diseases.

 

4. Herbal Tea Gives You a Youthful Radiant Glow

Fortify your skin with specially selected teas made of ingredients such as rooibos, ginger and peppermint for clearing the skin and giving it a glow. Even though the chocolate-glazed-rainbow-sprinkled fried piece of heaven looks beautiful to you, once it passes through your mouth it is as not pretty and wrecks havoc on your skin. Sugary doughnuts cause a massive change in your blood sugar levels which leads to inflammation. This inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin which means your skin is more likely to sag and wrinkle. The more sugar there is in your blood, the faster you age. Teas not only purify your blood, they can also help with your digestive system which in turn keeps your skin looking healthy.

For teas that can keep your youthful skin looking radiant, try the Ginger Rooibos Tea which contains a wealth of anti-inflammation properties!

5. Herbal Tea Does Not Harm Your Teeth

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With all the dangers of sugar looming in the horizon, you might forget about the immediate harm done to yourself. With the consumption of sugar, you are providing the bacteria in your mouth easy access to energy which in turn does not bode well for your oral health. Some tea ingredients such as ginger, cinnamon and lemongrass are anti-bacterial or anti-inflammatory work to decrease such problems.

 

You may think that herbal tea will never achieve the sweet pleasure that doughnuts provide, but there are some herbal teas, such as Nilufer Tea, which actually have the natural sweetness graced by the high quality ingredients within the unassuming sachet. With the benefits that herbal teas provide, our quality of health and life can increase and it is definitely worth it to include it into your diet. They definitely taste as good as they look!

A wide variety and selection of herbs and teas

On the 12th of October, Nilufer Tea organised a custom tea brewing workshop in partnership with Prudential. It was held at Shop Wonderland in Telok Ayer street; a cafe known for its whimsical theme and fun flower arranging workshops. Our guests were treated to a delightful meal by the cafe and a flurry of herbal knowledge to bring home. The educational workshop was insightful and enlightened some of our intrigued customers on the wonders of our organic herbal tea and their various ingredients. We also had our tea bags readily packed for sale at the event as well as some samples for the customers to bring home.

Using all 5 senses to learn about the herbs and ingredients

All the ingredients used in our organic herbal tea were set on display with labels for the guests to see, touch, smell and even taste. (everyone loved eating the dried strawberries and stevia) To kick off the workshop, Leah Yo, owner and founder of Nilufer tea, handed out a very beautiful infographic pertaining to the herbs in the tea bags to all the guests for their viewing pleasure. The handout included the benefits of each ingredient and how they could be of use to any particular sickness of ailment they may be facing. Leah explained each ingredient and how they come together to create the final product.

Start brewing!

The guests were eager to get started and each of them were given their own special tea brewing mug that contains a filter to sieve out the tea leaves debris. Leah went around asking them the kind of problems they usually face, if they had insomnia, headaches, if they were often sick, etc. Many guests cited insomnia as their main issue and resorted to medication for remedy. As a result, Leah recommended using chamomile tea as their base because of its relaxing properties. It was so lovely to see a group of real tea enthusiasts getting so excited over brewing their own unique blends of tea.

Participants looking and thinking of the herbs to put into their blends

 

Participants reading the ingredients and deciding what herbs to use

Guests were instructed to pick one or two main teas as their base, with the choices of rooibos tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, black bean tea, lemongrass tea and rose bud tea. One lady in particular was very adventurous and wanted to try three blends but the tea turned out to have a very weird pungent taste (and it was black in colour!), so the lesson is: Blend wisely!! After the guests have scooped the tea leaves and blends into their cups, they proceeded to the herb table to add 2-4 additional herbs for more flavor and health benefits. The handout given to them included suggestions on yummy herbal tea pairings and serving sizes so their resulting tea would taste delicious and smell very fragrant.

Personally, I enjoy fruity flavors most and I usually only drink fruit tea or flower tea so my choices were geared towards the dried strawberries and oranges (I may or may not have eaten a few of them raw sneakily as I was brewing my tea) and of course stevia as a natural sweetener. Once all the ingredients have been scooped nicely into their individual cups, the guests filled up their cups to approximately 3/4 of the capacity with hot water and covered their cups with its lid to steep for approximately 3-4 minutes. The longer you let the the tea brew, the stronger the resulting taste so we usually recommend 3 minutes as a good duration.

Why drink herbal teas?

While everyone's tea was brewing, Leah answered some of their questions about her tea company and her organic herbal tea. If you haven't already checked it out, our website has an FAQ that answers most questions our customers have about tea. The biggest question of the night was 'Does organic herbal tea cure insomnia?' The answer is no, it only helps alleviate insomnia as well as other types of health problems. It is important to note that tea is not a cure and in no way replaces actual medicine, but it definitely helps with the process of recovery. All the guests were very pleased with the insightful answers provided by Leah and happily shared their own tea habits and stories. It was a really lighthearted and chill environment and it really went along well with the theme of the company and workshop.

When the teas had finished their steeping process, everyone delightfully indulged in their creations and many were so pleased with the taste that they went for seconds! It was a lovely bonding session between strangers. Everyone actually went around and let each other try their tea blend creations to get a taste of different blends. As the guests slowly became more acquainted with the complementary flavors, they could choose herbs and teas more confidently. Overall everyone was very satisfied with their teas. As a treat, Leah gave them all a plastic bag for them to bring home a small portion of the ingredients of their favourite blend to recreate their teas at home for their friends and family.

Gratitude

The guests expressed their thanks and gratitude to the staff of Shop Wonderland as well as Leah for the fantastic workshop. They were very excited to hear directly from the founder of Nilufer Tea that she has a close relationships with the local farmers in Japan that supply her ingredients, they knew our tea was the real deal. Everyone was excited to learn how to place orders for the tea and of course name cards were handed out and details were exchanged.

To end the workshop on a happy note, all the guests brought home a goodie bag from Prudential as well as food and cakes from Shop Wonderland. Who doesn't love extra food? It was a great day overall, and the fun experiences shared by the group will not be forgotten. From us here at Nilufer Tea, we hope the tea and herbal knowledge shared will be with you everlasting!

For any inquiries about events or workshops, drop us a message at leah.y@dymarketing.sg Otherwise, you can get our organic herbal teas here!

Herbal teas are derived from plant materials, including leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, roots and fruits. From cancer-fighting properties to endurance boosting effects, herbal tea is for everyone. Here are some ways your body may be telling you it’s time to swap your favourite beverage for herbal tea instead.

1. You feel bloated

If you constantly feel bloated, herbal teas may help. Ginger contains the compounds gingerols and shogaols, which relax your intestinal muscles, thereby reducing inflammation and bloating. Peppermint also helps your digestive tract get rid of any built up gas. Peppermint contains menthol oil, which has an anti-spasmodic effect on your digestive tract, and soothes inflammation.

2. You’re having trouble sleeping

Image cred: pixabay

Although some herbal tea blends may contain ingredients that have caffeine, there are many that don’t. So if you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest, chamomile tea may do the trick. It contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid known for its relaxing and anxiety-reducing effects. It helps our bodies relax, thus promoting sleep.

3. You have cramps or an upset stomach

Image cred: pixabay

Herbal teas can be very soothing too. Peppermint tea can help to relax your gastrointestinal system and help to stop nausea or an upset stomach. Lemon balm, skullcap tea, chamomile tea, dandelion root tea and fennel tea can also help to ease menstrual cramps.

4. You have dry, patchy skin or acne problems

Herbal teas are also great for the skin. For years, chamomile tea has been used to help relieve dry, patchy skin, acne, rashes, and inflammatory skin conditions. This is because it possesses flavonoids that have a strong inhibitory effect on free radicals. The flavonoids in rooibos tea have also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory functions, making it useful for treating rosacea or eczema.

5. You have high blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure or heart problems, drinking herbal tea may keep them at bay. Rooibos tea acts as a bronchodilator, ultimately decreasing resistance in your respiratory airway and increasing airflow to your lungs. It also reduces the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is an enzyme that indirectly increases blood pressure by contracting blood vessels.
 
 

6. You have a weak immune system

Image cred: pixabay

Are you catching colds too often? It may be time for an intervention.
Herbal teas containing elderflower, turmeric, peppermint, and hibiscus all help to boost your immune system. Both turmeric tea and peppermint tea are able to ease the pain of upper respiratory problems like sore throats and sinus infections. Elderflower tea is an effective decongestant because it helps clear the nasal passages. It also encourages you to sweat, allowing for the body to rid itself of toxins by using sweat as the conduit.

7. You’re stressed

Image cred: pixabay

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, herbal tea may just be exactly what you need to relax. Lavender is known for its calming qualities, so it should come as no surprise that the tea is used primarily for stress relief. Green tea contains L-theanine amino acids that can help you relax and passionfruit tea can as well. Another herb to curb stress is lemon balm as it can help to lighten your uptight and anxious mood.
 
Herbal teas are a treat for all occasions. Whether you are having a tea party, or simply want to escape the cold in the office, herbal teas will never fail you. To get your dose of quality organic herbal teas, visit https://www.nilufertea.com/blog/shop/

Cover photo cred: Today

Out of the family of citrus fruit, lemon would probably be one of the top in terms of popularity. This is not surprising, seeing that lemons are rich in vitamins and other forms of goodness that can enhance your health. Furthermore, they have a unique tanginess and an uplifting scent which make it a good accompaniment to certain foods.

While many people only use lemons for their pulp and juices, it is less wasteful if the entire lemon is utilised, and this can be done. The lemon contains 3 main usable parts: pulp, pith, and peel (or some call it the skin).

Pulp

Pulps are vesicles that contain the juice of the lemon. To extract the juice from the lemon pulp, you can manually squeeze the lemon or simply place it in a juicer.

Benefits: Lemon juice holds so much goodness that you’ll probably want to reach for some now. It is famously known as a rich source of vitamin C, but there are also many other minerals and nutrients that you didn't know it has, such as potassium, folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, copper, magnesium and vitamin E. With so much healthy goodness, it is no wonder that so many people adopted lemon water as part of their morning ritual.

How to use it: Lemon juice is versatile in terms of its usage. You can add it into water to create lemon water, and lemon water itself also has a host of benefits. Besides that, you may also add fresh lemon juice into your teas instead of buying ready-made lemon teas, which usually is high in sugar and possibly preservatives as well. In terms of food, you can add lemon juice to spruce up your dishes and make them more flavourful.

Image cred: Dirty Weights

Pith

As with all citrus fruits, the pith is one of the bane of annoyance. It is the bitter part that makes eating citrus fruits troublesome because of the need to scrape it off. However, it is also probably the more misunderstood part of the lemon because of its bitterness. Surprisingly, it contains many nutrients as well, and they can add a boost to your health if you consume them properly.

Benefits: For one, the pith contains fibre which makes bowel movement easier. Also, it is a great source of antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of cancers and lower cholesterol. These are only the tip of the lemon pith iceberg, as there are also many vitamins and minerals in the pith.

How to use it: As lemon piths are bitter, it can be slightly disheartening to swallow it. Instead of enduring the bitter taste, you can add them into smoothies. Smoothies are generally sweet so that would cover the bitterness while letting you enjoy the health benefits of the lemon pith.

Peel

Lemon peels have an essence of their own. That is why lemon peels are cold-pressed to produce the lemon oils that are usually used in aromatherapy. They are rich in nutrients to help improve various parts of your body. However, it is important to take note that should you wish to use lemon peels, you should always use those from organic lemons. Organic lemons do not have pesticides or layers of chemical waxes, and this makes them safer to consume compared to those commercially grown and farmed.

Benefits: Lemon peels can contain at least 5 times the amount of vitamins found in lemon juice. There are also other chemical compounds that are greatly beneficial to the health, such as salvestrol Q40 and limonene which help to fight cancer, polyphenol flavonoids which can assist in clearing blood vessels that are blocked by cholesterol, and calcium which promotes stronger bones and better bone health.

How to use it: Grate lemon zest over your meats, fishes, desserts or beverages as garnish and an extra boost of nutrients to your food. It is important to reiterate that you should only use lemon peels from organic lemons.

Image cred: Food by Ayaka

 

Lemons provide a vast amount of health benefits and they also serve as flavourful additions to food. They can also be made into teas, which is what Nilufer Tea specialises in. Nilufer Tea only uses organic Setouchi lemons which grown in hillsides with ample sunshine and fresh ocean air. You can definitely taste the best of nature as the lemon touches your tongue.

With such high quality lemons, the citrus-based teas are not only bursting with lemony flavour and goodness, but they also boost your health one teabag at a time. If you simply want to add a tangy flavour to your beverages, you can also get Nilufer Tea’s heart-shaped lemons. Their cuteness and lovely shape will make your beverage look more beautiful and lift your mood as well.

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